Standing in His Path

In which Haft observes some troubling behavior and has to find a diplomatic way to say “NO” to the heir to the throne

Outer Ward
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Eston pauses as he spots him but, growing curious about his strange behaviour instead of greeting him he just watches with vague interest.

Darius is standing with his left hand flat on the wall and eyes narrowly examining it. Still not yet aware of Eston behind him, he abruptly turns right and begins walking, hand never leaving the wall.

Eston’s curiosity gets the better of him and he call out, “What are you doing?”

Lanisen passes through the inner gatehouse, using his stick. He has a parcel of meat cuts from the kitchen tucked under his right arm.

Darius stops and tenses almost instantly at the call, his hand dropping from the wall and onto his dagger. Turning quick, a large smile is plastered on his face and any visible tension now vanished. “Eston!” He returns, eyes locking on the man. “And how are you this fine day?!” he asks, now swiftly making his way towards him.

Haft, above on the inner wall walk doings his rounds, hears Eston call out and glances down.

Eston gives an awkward half shrug while attempting to keep a hold of his pack and his crutch, “Could be better but I ain’t one to complain, what about you?”

Lanisen pauses at the sound of Darius’s voice, shifting the parcel, and turns to locate the source.

Darius’s smile morphs into a grin as he finishes his approach, extending a hand. “About is good as could be, friend!”

Eston awkwardly attempts a handshake with both arms full and says, “Well that’s good”

Lanisen watches them with mild interest for a moment. He glances around the ward at the various guardposts, then up at the walls, searching for Haft.

Haft nods down, meeting the other man’s eye briefly.

Darius grabs the man’s hand with his right and gives it a /firm/ shake. Noting the pack under Eston’s right arm, he extends both hands towards it. “My good sir, you look like you are quite burdened! Let me ease it for you. “

Eston hesitates a moment, keeping a hold on the pack, “S’alright I can manage, I ain’t got that far, that’s for the offer though”

Lanisen, once he’s found Haft on the walls, nods back. He watches for another minute, then begins to make his way toward the kennels.

Darius’s arms remain, moving a bit closer even. “Oh, but I insist! “

Eston looks rather uncomfortable, murmuring
Eston mumbles “No really it … … … wouldn’t want … … noone to no bother”, to Eston.

Lanisen pauses at the door, his hand on the latch, watching again.

Darius looks a little put-out, slowly dropping his hands and giving a quick scan of the Outer Ward. Catching sight of Lanisen at the Kennal door. His eyes lighting up like fireworks, he offers a quick “Excuse me for one moment.” to Eston and briskly makes his way towards Lanisen.

Eston seems somewhat relieved as the attention is turned away from him. He grips his pack tighter, more protectively than before.

Lanisen’s eyes go a little wide and he mutters under his breath, reaching for the door handle again. Alas, it is stuck.

Darius closes the distance quickly, grin becoming toothy. “Lanisen! By all goodness, what has it been? A few days, a week?” He spews, eyes darting to the door handle. “Far TOO long by any account! How ARE you?!”

Lanisen says, “Uhhh.”
Lanisen says, “Um. Fine, thanks.”

Haft’s brow furrows at Lanisen’s difficulty with the handle.

Eston gives Lanisen an awkward wave of his own while still holding onto the pack, “Hullo there”

Darius gives the man a once over and nods firmly. “/Glad/ to hear it! ” he exclaims, looking back to the door. “Trouble with the handle there?”

Lanisen shifts the package to his other arm and tries again. It opens. “Oh, hey,” he says, laughing awkwardly. “Look at that.”

Darius mimicks with his own laughter, taking a step forward and offering the man a hand. “Let me help you with that. “

Eston figures that the other two are quite distracted and starts to make his slow way towards the gate house leading out.

Lanisen says, “No, no. I got it, it’s fine, thanks.”

Darius takes another step forward, brow now furrowing. “But I insist! ” he exclaims, now only about a foot away.

Lanisen says, “It’s really okay.”

Haft’s hands tense where they rest on the stone wall.

Darius moves half a foot foward, mouth twitching in a frown. “No, really, I /insist/. ” his tone now takes on a slightly darker tone, though it doesn’t appear an outright threat.

Lanisen goes still, his polite smile failing. He gives Darius an uncertain, guarded look.

Eston, still within earshot of the others, pauses at Darius’ tone and watches uncertainly.

Darius catches the change in Lanisen’s expression, blinking and taking a half step back. His eyes instinctively shooting from side to side, he settles his attention back onto the man and gives him a subdued nod. “As you wish. “

Lanisen says awkwardly, “Right.” He gestures at the package, then the door. “I’ll just…”

Darius nods slightly. “Of course… “

Lanisen murmurs, “Beg your pardon,” and slips through the kennel door.

Lanisen walks into the Kennels.

Eston raises an eyebrow and asks curiously, “What was that all about?”

Darius glares daggers at the Kennal’s door. At the sound of the other man though, his expression morphs into a bright smile as he looks back and gives him a nod. “Excuse me. ” With that, he looks back to the door and opens it, disappearing inside before closing it behind him.

Outer Ward

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= You stand in the busy outer ward of Castle Anvard, full of people seeing to the needs of king and kingdom. There are market stalls along the outer wall, bustling with merchants and shoppers. Grooms work in the stables, tending to the horses there, and you hear the occasional bark of a dog from the kennels. The sounds of hammer hitting iron rings out from the blacksmith shop. There are stairs leading to the gate towers on the northern and southern corners of the outer curtain. To the east is the outer gatehouse, and the road leading into the realm of Archenland, and to the west another gate, leading to the inner gatehouse, the inner ward, and the main keep of Anvard. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Kennels <N>, Northern Market <NE>, Outer Gatehouse <E>, Southern Market <SE>, Stables <S>, Blacksmith <SW>, Inner Gatehouse <W>, South Stair <US>, North Stair <UN>

Contents: A son of adam wearing a red tunic (Darius) and A son of adam with

curly hair (Eston).

Eston watches the doors to the kennel and makes a little ‘tch’ which might be a half laugh or indignant disbelief.

Darius walks into the Kennels.

Haft walks quietly into the Outer Ward, nodding at Eston.  “Sorry, on duty just now.”  He takes up a position at the base of the tower, between the kennels and the south market.

Eston nods, “S’alright, was heading home now in any case” He says and makes his way out of the ward and towards the town.

Eston walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Haft is standing on watch at the base of the tower between the kennels and the market.

Cor wanders through the ward, coming from the general direction of the markets and headed in the direction of the kennels, past Haft’s post.

Haft notes the boy’s direction and clears his throat.  “Excuse me, Your Highness?”

Cor doesn’t hear the call over the general murmur of the crowd.

Haft strides from his post and directly into Cor’s path.

Haft asks, “Excuse me, Your Highness?”

Cor takes a surprised step back. “Uh, hello?”

Haft says, “Forgive me for disturbing you, Your Highness, but I believe Master Lanisen has a guest in the kennels.  Perhaps this might not be the best time.”

Cor asks, “Oh…” He tries to peer around the man, and his shoulders drop a little. “Oh. Well… very well. Would you tell him I came by?”

Haft softens.  “Of course.  My apologies.”

Cor makes a last attempt to look around at the kennels, then turns his fuller attention to the guard. “Thanks.”

Haft nods and bows.

Cor takes another step back and then turns to go into the inner ward.

Haft swallows hard and watches the boy.

Cor walks west toward the inner gatehouse.

Haft resumes his position at the base of the tower.

Darius comes walking toward your from the Kennels.

Haft is standing on guard at the base of the tower between the kennels and the market.

Darius walks out of the Kennels with a massive grin plastered on his face, eyes scanning the Outer Ward carefully.

Haft stands impassively, apparently also scanning the crowd.

Darius catches sight of Haft amidst the crowd, a flash of thought subduing the grin on his face. Give ward once more good scan, he begins making his way over towards him.

Haft continues to scan the crowd.  As Darius draws nearer, he nods with a faint smile, though he offers no greeting.

Darius returns the smile with a friendly one of his own. “How goes your work, my friend?”

Haft says, “Oh, quite well.  ‘Fraid I can’t really talk just now though.  On duty, you see.”  He waves down at his uniform.  “Gotta keep an eye on the crowd for dangerous sorts.”

Darius’s eyes widen a bit, a grin tugging at his mouth as he mirrors the mans stance. “Dangerous sorts you say?! How exhilarating! ” He stands tall next to him, scanning the crowd himself, eyes narrowing at each and every person he comes across. “How do you… know what a dangerous sort is?”

Haft says, “Poorer sorts, mostly.  Folks who might need to steal.  Cloaked persons, don’t want to be recognized…”

Darius’s eyes widen as he looks overtly startled, gaze ripping from the crowd and onto Haft. “STEAL?! ” he nearly shouts. “Who would EVER attempt to steal under the watchful eye of the guard?! Surely you jest!”

Haft shrugs.  “Always a few that don’t think they need to earn their keep, I guess.”

Darius shakes his head, crossing his arms. “Quite distasteful if you ask me!”

Haft asks, “Yeah, well.  That’s why there’s soldiers, I guess.  What’re you doing back here?”

Darius nods, giving haft a firm pat on the back. “Indeed and some -good- ones at that!” he grins. “Just exploring.”

Haft says, “You sure explore here a lot.  Ain’t that much to see in the Outer Ward.”

Darius shrugs. “Didn’t know so much was open to the public! ” he exclaims, gesturing towards the Kennels. “I mean Lanisen practically gave me a -tour- of the Kennels! He is quite the guy. ” he frowns. “Too bad he got as injured as he did. ”

Haft says, “Yes.  Where were you during the battle?” he asked, the tiniest tinge of censure in his voice.

Darius waves a hand. “Ah, I was a region west. Thankfully well out of the way of those brutes!”

Haft says, “Yes.  It was a difficult day.”

Darius nods. “I’d imagine so. ”

Haft asks, “So what’s your favorite thing you’ve seen in Anvard so far?”

Darius lets out a breath. “Ah, well… I don’t quite know. The stuff that has to do with the Castle prolly.”

Haft says, “She’s a pretty thing.  Not as tall as the spires of Cair Paravel, but she’s got good bones.”

Darius nods, scanning the walls. “I don’t suppose you could give a humble man such as myself a tour sometime?”

Haft strokes his beard.  “Well I don’t know about that.  There’s some regions that are closed off you see.  I might have to get permission.”

Darius crosses his arms. “I am not opposed to waiting.”

Haft grins.  “Well, what is it you particularly want to see?  I might check if there’s some times most folks are away that would be good to visit.”

Darius grins, eying the man. “Ah, anywhere in the Inner Ward my friend. Now that would be a true delight!”

Haft says, “Oh.”  His face falls.  “That’s a mighty lot of rooms…can’t say when they’d all be unoccupied.”

Darius chuckles. “Well, if that doesn’t work, I am up for anything.”

Haft nods.  “Well, I’ll see what I can do.  Say, you were askin’ about Lord Dar the other day…do you know him?

Darius shakes his head. “Was pointed in his direction to find work. ”

Haft asks, “Oh…who told you that?”

Haft asks, “I mean…I sorta went through him…then the king, then the Captain…bit of a muddle, wasn’t it?”

Darius nods. “Lord Colin told me so. ”

Haft says, “Oh, I see.  Seems a good sort.  Don’t know him too well.”

Darius hehs, nodding. “Indeed. ” he glances at the outer gate. “Well, I will let you get back to it. Good evening Haft. ”

Haft nods, seeming to remember he’s on duty and straightening up.

Darius walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Haft frowns deeply, then turns and strides into the kennels.

Kennels

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The kennel of Anvard is a fairly spacious room, well-lit by the windows in the south wall looking toward the Outer Ward. It is immediately obvious that the hounds housed here are quite well-treated: the floor is kept clean-swept; the blankets padding the dogs’ wooden beds are thick and warm; and the hounds themselves have a certain sleek, well-fed look. Several pens can be seen toward the back of the room, likely used to isolate dogs that are sick, injured, or in need of further training, but the majority of the castle hounds are allowed to roam freely about the room.

A fireplace, lit on cold days, is set into the east wall, opposite the door to the quarters of Danall, the Master of Hounds. A set of wooden stairs leads up to a second level. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Up <U>, Outer Ward <S>, Huntsman’s Chamber <W>

Contents: Kirby the Houndkeeper.

Lanisen sits at a long table in the back, portioning out unwanted cuts of raw venison. As the door opens, he looks up quickly, half rising from his seat, then sinks down again on recognizing Haft. “I’ll thank you,” he says, “not to say ‘I told you so’.”

Haft shakes his head and nearly collapses onto a bench opposite Lanisen.  “Mane,” he says, running his fingers through his previously-tidy hair.

Lanisen nods silently, putting meat in a long feeding trough.

Haft says, “Talk to me.  What’d he say.”

Lanisen says, “Nothin’ of consequence. Wanted to see upstairs.”

Haft nods.  “That’s about the measure of it.  Anything else I should know?”

Lanisen shrugs.

Haft asks, “He told me Sir Colin told him to seek out Lord Dar to find employment.  You know if that’s right?”

Lanisen shakes his head. “No idea.”

Haft nods and runs his fingers through his hair again.  “Prince Cor was just outside, walking this way not ten minutes after you two came in here.  I had to discourage him from entering–wanted me to tell you he came by, by the way.”  He sighs.  “Don’t know what I’d’ve done if he’d pressed.”

Lanisen says absently, “Followed him in, of course.”

Haft shakes his head.  “You don’t let a young charge walk into a confined area with a suspected rascal.  More likely I’d’ve had to tell him there was danger and he needed to go back into the Inner Ward.  That’s part of the job.  Something I’d prefer to avoid.  He don’t need the worry.”

Lanisen agrees, “Yeah, for sure.” He frowns down at his work, distant and preoccupied.

Haft rises.  “I gotta get back outside.  I’m still on duty.” He nods at Lanisen and makes for the door.

Lanisen says, “Have a good watch.”

Haft lifts the latch and steps out into the sunlight.

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